If you were to ask top travel journalists, “what engages the media the most?”, “first hand experience” would be the response. For hotel chains, airlines and tourism boards, press familiarisation (FAM) trips are key to securing a large volume of high-impact feature coverage that reaches and resonates with travellers in their target markets.
Over the past six weeks I’ve had the honour of planning my first group FAM trip; hard work but immensely rewarding and I am very proud of the results achieved so far. There are many considerations and variables when developing and executing an international media visit, so here are some top tips for those contemplating one of their own:
1. Plan early – I cannot begin to stress this enough, there is so much to incorporate and so many parties to liaise with that starting as early as possible is critical.
2. Create a target media list – consider which regions you wish to promote your brand; market catchment areas close to the departure airport or specific readership locations for example. It is also helpful to secondary and tertiary backups in case your primaries decline or decide to drop out.
3. Develop a relationship with the tourism board – in generating media interest for your trip, it is important to create a programme packed with interesting, unusual and fun activities. The local tourism board have local knowledge and are usually helpful in providing tips for a unique itinerary. If you play your cards right, you can get a couple of freebies thrown in, such as a complimentary dinner or a free city travel card.
4. Itinerary – make sure you take the time and effort to develop a glossy and appealing itinerary. A key tip is to imagine yourself as the recipient – would you want to go? Photos, descriptions and colour all help to paint a picture in the journalist’s mind.
5. Press invite – create a short, snappy press invite with only the basic details to generate interest and attach your polished itinerary to seal the deal.
6. Anything else? – dietary requirements, airport parking and lounge access are only some of the additional arrangements that need to be addressed.
7. Leave yourself time – last minute emergencies crop up, it’s only natural. Leaving yourself more than a week before take-off allows time to extinguish any fire.
The media landscape is continuously shifting and evolving. With specialist expertise in business tourism, consumer destinations, venues, events and exhibitions, we at Clareville have the insight to deliver impactful PR campaigns with business objectives at its core.
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